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Thread: ccsears sketchbook

  1. #1201
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    i'm in a lot of pain tonight. this is after gil elvgren. i can't write anything more.

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    Asatira is offline an amateur trying to figure things out Level 9 Gladiator: Hoplomachi
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    These are really nice studies. Keep 'em up.

    That said, keep them up as long as you're taking care of yourself. Sorry to hear you're sick and feeling so bad. Be sure to take breaks and get better.

    "It's all about the triumph of intellect and romance, over brute force and cynicism." Craig Ferguson on Dr. Who
    sketchbook :: my dA gallery :: my art blog :: old sketchbook

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  5. #1203
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    Chris
    I believe the friend list thing is part of the most recent forum upgrades and is designed to add more social networking features into CA.
    Hope you're feeling better.

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  7. #1204
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    ***This is all for EKL who asked what I think about when I do shit like this. Not a finished study yet. I'll probably spend more time on it later on tonight. But here's what I've got so far.***


    the digs. book about american illustrator James Bama.

    (it should be noted here that Bama was also a student of Frank J. Reilly in NYC. My teacher Mark Westermoe was a student of Fred Fixler, who was also a student of Reilly's. i.e. same artistic lineage, i can see it pretty easily. very classical American illo style, something preserved by the entertainment industry out here on the West Coast.)

    raw umber, white, acrylic, canvas paper taped to the table. blah blah blah.

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    tone the canvas. i'm picking a value close to the average skin tone in the light.

    i gotta admit i've already made more than a few decisions about this piece, why i'm doing it, what i want to get out of it, and how i'm going to do it.

    in other words...
    i want to practice my "direct" painting--painting where I don't have too many layers and no under-drawing to guide me. i want to practice my brushwork, value judgment, and ability to draw with a brush.

    i picked this painting to study because i have a good photograph of it in the book. it has an idealized, chiseled, rugged face with many interesting shapes--a good opportunity to practice brushwork. the value organization of the piece is interesting and challenging. there are a lot of midtones, and the highlights aren't all that high, truth be told.

    i'm not doing this to get an exact likeness. accuracy is important, but an absolutely deadly accuracy is not. i.e. i'm giving myself a certain amount of latitude. it will look very much like the original, but i'm not going to stress out about it.

    i will probably add black to it at some point, which will make all the stuff done in raw umber and white look a bit lighter in comparison. i'm planning ahead for that in the back of my head.

    long story short, i don't have all these words bouncing around in my head all day. painting wouldn't be that much fun if i did. but i did spend a moment or two thinking about it (and i'm reflecting on it a bit here). practice for practice's sake is not a good approach. identify what you want to practice beforehand if you want to make any progress. there are times to make brute force decisions and draw 100 heads or 100 hands to overcome some obstacles or plateaus, but this isn't one of them.
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    this is about all the construction and structural drawing i'm going to do. i use raw umber (with the tiniest touch of white to make it a little bit more opaque) thinned out with a lot of water and i scribble in where things are going to go.

    because the lighting in this painting has dark, almost black shadows, it makes sense to block them in as a grouped-together shape. this isn't always the case for rim-lighting, ambient lighting, etc. i have enough experience to know this ahead of time.

    i tend to put a lot of importance into getting the eyes right. to that end, it's really important that the shapes of the eyes relate to each other--i.e. it has to look like he has one brow line and that the eyes are parallel, looking at the same point in space, etc.
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    blocking in. i'm trying to get as chunky an effect as i can at this point, practicing loosening up.

    (my drawing accuracy is generally pretty good these days when it comes to faces. if i'm using linear mediums like pencil, etc., and a lot of construction, i know i can get things right. doing this "alla prima" without much drawing is "scarier" for me. but it's a hurdle i have to force myself to get over. loosen up, mr sears, why be so fucking serious about it.)
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    so... this is where things start to get messy. just using raw umber and white within a very narrow value range is tough. and i kind of painted myself into a corner--no room left in the value scale to add much more depth or detail.

    but i kind of planned ahead for that. (which makes me happy to realize i've got enough mileage to do that). i knew this would happen eventually and planned on dropping the BIg Black Bomb on the background to add some "pop" to the whole damn mess.

    the caveat with adding black is not letting it creep into the lighter values too much. black is cold compared to raw umber. mixing white into it will give you a much bluer kind of gray.

    Still needs adjusting, some of the highlights are too bright, a few need to pop even more just for a nice effect....
    but it's coming along.

    acrylic is nice in that it dries quickly enough for you to paint over it without losing your train of thought. but getting nice wet-into-wet with it is difficult unless you know a bunch of mix-in medium and additive chemistry.

    (I don't have the money to fuck around with that. matte medium and water for me. retarder only if i'm doing glazes).

    it's a little tackier than oil paint too. you don't get that nice lush brushstroke as easily.

    in the back of my mind i'm thinking about what i have to modify when i switch over to doing this in oils. what will be easier, what will be harder. what will take more preparation, what will be more spontaneous...

    there's no shortcut for work ethic, but being conscientious about all this "stuff" is what enables someone like me to make progress with a limited amount of practice time.

    again, this is all for EKL's benefit, but I'm not shy about sharing what little I know with anyone who stumbles across this.

    *and a nod and a wink to NC*
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    I'll get around to replying to comments sometime later. Right now, I'm trying to deal with a lot of crap. Thanks to everyone in the meantime.

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  9. #1205
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    My57 is offline I will live forever or DIE TRYING! Level 11 Gladiator: Essedarii
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    hope you get everything sorted through, just remember to try and look on the bright side!

    My observational skills may be great but i said nothing about my drawing skills


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    Love the Latest Studies mate, Sad to hear you're down, hope the vicodin's helpin', Best wishes!

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  13. #1207
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    tightened this up while watching Unforgiven with the back of my head. the shirt could use some more work, but it's midnight and i'm tired.

    besides, it's time to pop a vicodin and watch sumo.

    some parting thoughts, i guess:
    my big problem when i try to do this in oil is getting the right consistency and thickness of paint layers to be able to render like this. acrylic dries, so you don't have to worry about getting a brush stroke to lay on top of another brush stroke. you can paint on top as much as you want.

    oil painting is more delicate unless you do it in stages and wait for things to dry. alla prima stuff is tricky for that reason.

    anyway, i've been in a rotten mood but doing this makes me happy.
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    i need to get some rest. so, for what it's worth...
    MeTaLMike
    Gloominati
    LisandroG
    ruuhkis
    E4asy
    Asatira
    Craig D
    My57
    VictorB

    THANKS

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    wow man, this thread is gold dude, still tryna go through the whole thing, but i'll def be back for more... thanks so much for posting up the process shots, its so great to see those.....i hope you're feeling better dude..... very inspiring studies

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    Howdy,
    Very nice updates, the step-by-step thing is cool to watch. I especially like the 2nd portrait you did in post 1189, awesome background.
    Hope you'll be able to keep this up.

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    hey chris, just dropped by to wish you a fast recovery and all the best wishes.

    stress does wear you down, i've had a problem like that some time ago. i was fully healthy but i just couldn't get out of bed to do my usual drills. did you know fatigue is considered some sort of affection? hah, anyway.

    the studies are wonderful. do whatever you need to keep you sane.
    cheers

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    This painting step by step is great! Thanks alot for taking the time to write up your thought process while you're painting. It's a huuge help to be able to see how you approach this. The studies you've been doing are really nice too.

    Out of curiosity, did anything happen with that poll you posted about interest in your teaching?

    Hope you feel better soon.

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    Wow your work is intense! great technique. Your brush stroke is so fresh...

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    study after Gerome. switched to Payne's Gray instead of Raw Umber.

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    polipol Thanks!
    Teundeboer I'm definitely ripping off Leyendecker, etc. with the background. But it's fun.
    Slayer Thanks man, the studies are keeping me sane for the time being. Hopefully the meds kick in and I get over this shit this weekend.
    retardedmonkey i stopped the poll way back when. i figured it was a weird way to see if there was any interest. ...and there was other shit going on between me and other interested parties. for right now, i don't have a place to teach and it doesn't seem like any of the local art schools are much interested in a no-name like me. but who knows? i think i'd like to do some teaching.
    delrey Thanks. I dig your pen work a lot!

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    Well you'r doing some teaching right now, and have been ever since you started the SB and i for one am very grateful for it, and everyone else too im guessing. Anyway, just wanted to pop by to check out all of the cool stuff which i've missed since last i visited. Keep the awesome coming and get well soon dude.

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  28. #1215
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    another one from Gerome today. well, i guess i should be happy to get this much done in a week. feels good for a change.

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    Imaginary Thanks, really nice of you to say that. It's just weird to try to teach around LA because the schools are already established. They pick who they want, and there are a lot better artists than me down here. But i'm optimistic i'll get a shot at it sooner or later.

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    GE-Rome!!!.... ahem... love it

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    You're busting these out like nobody's business. They all look great too, I hope you have time to keep these coming.

    I wasn't sure if you had found people to teach or what was up with that. But yeah you're definitely a very good teacher, and we all know you've got the skills. If you ever are looking to mentor somebody let me know, it would be awesome to be taught by you.

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  34. #1218
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    well, i do have a book on odd nerdrum. not my favorite painter, but it has big iconic images sometimes. like this one. i'm changing the facial proportions to make it look better to me. unfinished. will post it when it's done. doing this to start focusing on warm vs. cool, and color accents. how to turn form with temperature instead of value, that kind of thing...

    and i watched 3:10 to yuma... very fucking good. and i'm in the middle of before the devil knows you're dead... not sure how it will go.

    the back of my head watches a lot of movies.

    payne's gray, quinacridone magenta, white. (M Graham brand acrylics rock, by the way)

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    VictorB Thanks man.
    retardedmonkey I'm stubborn and like to practice when i get the chance. i reorganized my living room so i can paint again. one of these days i'll start teaching. don't know about mentoring per se, but if you have questions always feel free to ask. i may not always have time, but i don't mind. also not sure what i'd teach...a lot of other people already cover stuff. maybe i just present it differently... i don't know... i'll think about it.

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  36. #1219
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    oh yeah... my friends' CG studio (where I've been hanging out waiting to storyboard something...) recently did the trailer for Blur. kind of cool to see this from beginning to completion. they did a very good job, i think.

    link to Blur commercial by TigarHare Studios.

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  37. #1220
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    Hey Chris, I'm not sure if I did or didn't give you a proper thanks for the help a while back. And I feel like a complete ass if I didn't, so just that my conscience is clear, thanks!

    It hit home with what you said about studying smart and not just using brute force. I definately rely on the cave man method of just doing a ton of something and hope it works out before I die of boredom.

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  39. #1221
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    Asatira is offline an amateur trying to figure things out Level 9 Gladiator: Hoplomachi
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    You've been very busy. Impressive. Thanks for putting up the walkthrough.

    "It's all about the triumph of intellect and romance, over brute force and cynicism." Craig Ferguson on Dr. Who
    sketchbook :: my dA gallery :: my art blog :: old sketchbook

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    Great update , excited to see how you resolved it.

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  41. #1223
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    screw it. i'm tired of this. on to the next one.

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    Aveh No problem man, a long overdue you're welcome too. don't worry about it.
    Asatira Thanks!
    VictorB Thanks man. Didn't really resolve this one but it's done because i'm movin' on.

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    sorry, but i'm not writing a step-by-step for this one--it'd take me all fucking day. quinacridone rose, raw umber, payne's gray, white. and just a hint of raw sienna (but only at the end in the light part of the background).

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  44. #1225
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    week of self-pity and quarantine. should be recovered in about 2 more days, i hope.

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  46. #1226
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    inspiring stuff bro, thanks for doing these

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  48. #1227
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    Not bad for a week of "self Pity" , I love/hate you now I Have to break out my brushes and oils and do some trad. painting!

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  50. #1228
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    Snap, its been a week of amazing works that for sure! All of these paintings are solid, the last one especially.

    How long did you spend on that last one? It really did turn out great, you make me jealous. Everything you do seems so effortless, yet it all looks stunning.

    Once again thanks alot for posting up the steps in the process, helps with direction for my own attempts. A quick question about your process though. When you reached the end of the painting, the redish purple color starts to really stand out more. Are you painting over the original values/color with a new color or are you watering down the paint so that its a bit transparent? And then using it like a watercolor almost to add the redish purple tint to it.

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  52. #1229
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    Oowee, that's a lota work in one week, Mr. Sears.
    Thanks for the processes.

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    just answering a question... giving my eyes and hands a rest from all the painting...

    aaro_n thanks man. i was inspired by those who taught me. i just only get around to following through on it when i'm sick, it seems.

    VictorB good man. paint away. i do have to say, though, that if you can deal with adjusting to acrylic, it might make doing these studies that much faster. some things are more difficult--blending is easier with oils just because they stay wet so much longer. but acrylics will teach you to work quickly, and you don't have to worry about having space for them to dry if you do more than one. i'm also finding that canvas paper pads save a lot of space. you just have to tape them down to a board or table. believe me, finding shelf space for doing a stack of these on canvas boards adds up. eventually you have a really heavy stack of shit to store. you could also do these the nathan fowkes watercolor and white gouache way, but watercolor is a VERY difficult medium.

    retardedmonkey the process on this last one is much different than the process i used for the step-by-step. this last one is what Mark would call "prepared" or "indirect" painting. the step-by-step is what he would have called "direct" painting.

    the colors change a little for two reasons, 1) there is a little glazing and quite a bit of working translucently with velaturas. 2) just the workings of my stupid camera--turning the exposure up or down is a non-linear process. some things make it more sensitive to red. also the damn lighting i use to shoot photos causes all kinds of havoc. when it's taped to my drafting table, i can't get rid of the glare unless i shoot from an angle that fucks certain things up. when i try to correct things in photoshop, sometimes it makes things more or less saturated. but, that said, the last photo in the series with the tape removed shows it as close to the real image as i can do it.

    i posted something a while back about the difference between a velatura and a glaze; a velatura has white in it making it translucent instead of transparent like a glaze. this style of rendering is very classically based. there are other tricks and tips to it, the order of layers, ways of fixing things if you fuck up, knowing when to paint a halftone underneath, knowing when to break rules, etc. on the one hand, it's not that advanced--it was the first way I learned how to paint, period. and it has the advantage of using a good drawing underneath so you have less anxiety about drawing with a brush. but, you have to understand the ideas behind it pretty well--if you just try to follow steps and rules with it, it won't turn out right. I thank Mark a lot for teaching me this way because it helped me a lot. My drawing was much more solid than my painting.

    if you're crazy enough to try this from life, you really, really REALLY need to be able to finish your drawing in the first 20 minutes before the model takes a break. absolutely critical. if you can't do that, practice your drawing until you can.

    this painting took maybe 4.5 hours total. roughly 30 minutes for the drawing. the head was mostly done in under 3 hours with the exception of a couple of accents and final touches. doing the background was kind of spontaneous. i didn't know if i was going to imply clouds like in the original painting or do some kind of pattern or some kind of gradient... doing large areas with smooth gradients in acrylics always takes me a long time. the background and filling in the jacket, and designing the lights in the collar and the hair took the last 1-1.5 hours. so you can see that you could get a very good start on something like this from a life drawing/painting session and should be able to finish it at home no problem.

    anyway, it's a cop out for me to say it, but it's much easier to show and explain this in person or on video with narration. explaining from photographs would take forever. i took these photos figuring i should show some process to everybody, but i didn't plan on shooting them in just the right way to explain everything.

    hunterkiller thanks man. i still feel like i shoulda gotten more done.

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